If you want to serve others as your life’s work, a degree in Human Services can help you build the foundation to a long and fulfilling career. Often coupled with psychology, this kind of degree opens you up to several paths to help others as it teaches you the emotional and psychological skills you need to work with diverse populations.
What Will I Learn in a Human Services Program?
Human Services programs introduce you to fundamental psychology concepts and statistical principles concerning human experience and behavior. They allow you to look at how people in society act and interact and where structures and systems are successful in helping the most vulnerable and where they fall short. Among the lessons you will learn and the skills you will develop are:
- Listening, writing, communicating, and developing interpersonal skills to help you work with clients, agencies, and organizations
- Building your emotional intelligence, patience, and interest in diverse populations to be the best advocate for the clients you work with
- Learning organization skills to help balance many clients, services, and competing demands on your time
- Developing moral character to remain honest, thoughtful, and respectful while providing care to some very high-needs people
- Using innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills to approach each client’s situation with an open mind to craft the best possible solution to meet their needs
- Understanding national and local organizations and laws to better serve your clients
What Jobs Will I be Prepared for with a Human Services Degree?
Human Services degree programs prepare you to work in service roles across the community. You could serve governmental agencies, nonprofits, or private companies providing services to a range of clients. Here are a few of the paths you can pursue:
- Become a Case Manager and advocate for clients to receive the best physical and mental healthcare possible. In this role, you collaborate with agencies, medical professionals, and social services to protect the health of the people you work for. You might work in a nursing home to help elderly residents get the care they need. To perform your job well, you will need to have a strong understanding of patient rights and the rules of confidentiality and how and when to escalate any issues.
- Work as a Substance Abuse Support Provider in non-profits, clinics, hospitals or rehabilitation facilities to help clients and families overcome abuse and heal from the illnesses associated with it. As a counselor in a hospital setting, you could work with adults or children that have been hospitalized for drug or alcohol abuse. You help teach your clients how to cope with their disease, identity issues and create goals for treatment, lead therapy sessions, meet with family members and create plans for aftercare once patients are ready to leave the hospital.
- Act as a Family Court Advocate to help ensure the health and well-being of children in family disputes and custody battles. You might draft parenting plans or work with shelters, foster care, social services, crisis intervention, and the courts to gather information, write reports, and make recommendations to the court. Your ultimate goal is to do what is in the best interest of a minor child.
- Become a Community Outreach Manager to promote the services an organization provides to the community so individuals and families can more easily access them. This means educating families on available programs, supervising activities within those programs, maintaining donor databases, and collaborating with superiors on regular budgetary projects. You might create public education plans or social media campaigns. Or you might help with fundraising efforts to ensure your organization continues to provide the services it does. By working with non-profits and community organizations, you can introduce individuals and families to programs and services that can truly make a difference in their lives.
- Pursue a Social and Human Service Provider position if you want to assist social workers, psychologists, or program directors in helping others. In this role, you would help determine the needs of individual clients and help them find the services they require. You could work for a nonprofit, for social agencies, or for local or state government agencies. As a part of this position, you will help clients complete paperwork, find assistance, research different services they may need (e.g., food stamps and Medicaid), and regularly check in with your clients to ensure they get everything they need to be healthy and happy.
- Continue on to become a Counselor or a Social Worker. Although you may need additional education, training, and certification, the Human Services Degree can be a steppingstone to careers as a social worker, counselor, or therapist.
Interested in serving others? Bluefield University offers a Psychology/Human Services program that is taught by highly skilled and experienced professionals. It also has an internship component and will prepare you to enter the helping field immediately or pursue your education further in graduate school. To learn more about Bluefield and this innovative program, contact us now.